1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial

William ‘Buckwheat’ Thomas

One of the most popular of ‘ The Little Rascals,’ Thomas played Buckwheat in 93 ‘Our Gang’ films, beginning in 1934. His garbled English was punctuated by his signature exclamation, ‘Otay!’ He stayed with the series until its demise in 1944. After serving in the Army during the Korean War (and not World War II, as noted on his Inglewood Park Cemetery grave marker), he worked for many years as a lab technician at Technicolor and made few attempts to cash in on his fame. When he was given a standing ovation at an ‘Our Gang’ reunion in August of 1980, Thomas was moved to tears. Two months later he died of a heart attack at the age of 49. His Buckwheat character was affectionately spoofed by Eddie Murphy during the comedian’s stint on TV’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ in the early 1980s.